Don't give up just yet. It took a bit of doing to get everything working on my AAO ZG5 which originally came with Linpus Linux and did not have the capability to recognize the PL-2303 through the USB port.

I remembered something last night that I had forgotten since I had completed my installation so long ago. On the tangoGPS website, located at this link

The instructions also advise installing packages curl and sqlite3. Have you installed those packages yet?

Desktop: Debian, Ubuntu, eeePC

Install the .deb package with:

dpkg -i tangogps-XXX.deb (XXX being the version number)

Additionally you need: gpsd, curl and sqlite3

In case you get an error message " not found" install the curl package and if it still fails then do as root "ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/".
Another note on virtual machines: you are right about needing a WinXP disk if you want to use that as a guest OS.

I think I figured how to attach some screenshots.

Keep trying.